2003 Pontiac Aztek Replace Headlight Assembly

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Road debris is the most common cause of damage to headlight assemblies. This typically happens during highway driving. The headlight assembly may completely shatter, but often develops just small cracks and pinholes. Inspect the headlight assemblies on your 2003 Pontiac Aztek once a week if you do a lot of highway commuting. A damaged one can be replaced right at home in less than 30 minutes.

[edit] Tools Used

Tools
Socket wrench set
Pliers
Flathead screwdriver

[edit] Replace Headlight Assembly

  • Remove the negative (black) cable from the battery using a socket wrench. Move or position the cable away from its post to prevent accidental reconnection. The battery itself should have a small plus and minus symbol near each of the cables to help you determine which cable is the negative (minus).
  • Lift the retaining clip on the back of the headlight assembly. The clip sits vertically behind the assembly and looks similar to a latch. The retaining clip, if you follow it to its base, engages a small notch on the lower part of the headlight assembly. You should be able to lift the clip by hand. If you can't, pull the clip up with pliers.
  • Grasp the headlight assembly on either side and carefully pull it forward. Pop off the plastic cap covering the headlight bulb with a screwdriver.
  • Turn the headlight socket a quarter turn counterclockwise and withdraw the bulb. Unplug the wiring harness connected to the rear of the bulb. Store the bulb in a safe location temporarily. The headlight assembly also has a wiring harness plugged into it just above the mounting location of the headlight. Unplug the assembly's wiring harness to free the headlight.
  • Plug the headlight bulb into your new headlight assembly just as you removed it from the old one. Insert the bulb into the headlight lens and lock it back in place by turning it to the right a quarter turn clockwise. Put the cap back over the bulb and push down on it until it clicks back in place.
  • Plug the headlight assembly's wiring harness back into it. Position the headlight assembly for mounting. Push the assembly forward--evenly--until it fully seats itself against the frame.
  • Push the retaining clip down by hand back over the notch on the back of the headlight assembly. Connect the negative cable back to the battery by hand and then secure it in place with your socket wrench. Turn on the power to the headlights to check your repair.
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